Whatever is showing up in our dating pattern is a mirror of who we are. We can only get involved with someone who is at the same level of development as we are. No more, no less. We often fail to see this because many of us do great posturing, and love to present ourselves as more than we are. Some will even play themselves as less, if that suits their comfortable style. So when we strip away all the images that we hide behind, we see the naked truth that we are facing our reflection in our partners. It is frequently humbling to admit being that honest, but is essential in making any real change.
All relationships are successful
Once we are able to stop pretending that we are more than we are, we will be able to see that each relationship, no matter what it is, is prefect for what it was meant to be and what you ready for. A three month relationship is a successful three month relationship. We only call it a failure, because we compare it to what it is not. The same is true for being involved with married men, high drama relationships, or being involved with drug or alcohol abusers. The first is successful at offering us intensity with total safety. The second offers constant stimulation with no boredom whatsoever. The last one is successful at making someone feel needed with no worry that their own gaps will be exposed. In accepting and integrating this concept we will learn to see our dating relationships in a much clearer light, give up any victimization feelings, and learn to transcend all of good and bad rhetoric that is rampant in dating.
Are our lovers lost or are we lost?
Many of the dating books have the word FIND in the title. This supports the premise that the lovers we desire are lost and we just have to figure out a way to find them. Many of us buy into this myth and go on a never ending search for their lovers. This perception allows us to maintain the belief that the problem is outside of us, so we can say things like “All the men in this city are superficial losers.” This frees us from looking in our mirrors.
I take the position that our lovers are not lost, but we are. This requires much more accountability which is why many people avoid this at all costs. In my view the lovers we desire are watching and waiting for us to be ready to meet them. And they will wait as long as it takes us to be ready.
What I am presenting here asks us to make a significant shift in our conditioned thinking about dating and meeting someone. If it seems like too much to absorb, there are certainly many people we can encounter, who will support any of the more familiar views on dating. But for those of us who are tired of the old dating attitudes and want to break free and experience something new, with new results, then I strongly urge to practice this philosophy for six months.
Bruce Derman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who wrote We Could’ve Had A Great Date If It Weren’t For You